It was Corey’s birthday yesterday so I got her a mountain. Or, to be a little more exact, the three of us visited Charles Mound which is the highest point of Illinois (1,235 feet). Although described by Wikipedia as being only a “gentle hill,” it still allows one a certain perspective of the world. It is so peaceful there, so far away from all the current troubles of the world. Just remember not to venture too far on the private driveway or you will see a Trump/Pence sign mounted in the surrounding corn field.
Charles Mound is located among a tangle of country roads just south of Wisconsin and in between Galena and Dubuque. It is the 45th highest state point in the country so take that Delaware! GPS made it easy to fine but the quarantine made the one mile walk a bit more strenuous than we care to admit. The small hike and the mound itself are both on private property with the owners generous enough to allow the public to visit the first weekend of every month. This link has better information for your trip.
This is my first blog entry in a while and the first since the pandemic. To date almost six thousand people in Illinois have passed from the virus. That number includes one gentle giant I wish I had known better. We also have several friends and family members who are in various stages of recovery from Covid. The virus is no laughing matter and we plead for everyone to stay safe.
Weighing on us too is the horrific murder of George Floyd. That it was done in broad daylight on a crowded city block makes it even more difficult to understand. I have no idea what it is like to be a police officer. So many work so hard protecting the communities they serve while at the same time dealing with a lack of respect from citizens and politicians alike. At the same time, however, I also have no real idea what it would be like to be African-American. Corey has a friend who will not allow her son to ride in the front passenger seat. The reason is that if, pulled over, she wants the police to treat her son like a child and not as an adult black male. This is the world of fear she lives in. And her concerns are something that I, as a white man, can only barely comprehend.
We do still plan on traveling this summer. It will of course look a bit different with our focus being more about conversations with strangers. Which is often hard to do while masked and standing six feet apart.